‘Anthropocene Water Fictions.’

Kluwick, Ursula Maria (10 September 2019). ‘Anthropocene Water Fictions.’ (Unpublished). In: Anthropocene (Post)Humanities. Bayrische Akademie München. 10.-11.9.2019.

This paper examines the entanglement between humans, technology, and environment in contemporary water novels. Novels such as Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor’s The Dragonfly Sea (2019), Maggie Gee’s The Ice People (1998) and The Flood (2004), Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide (2004), Romesh Gunesekera’s Reef (1994), and Graham Swift’s Waterland (1983) explore the effects of human actions on aquatic landscapes but also how the latter in their turn influence human ways of life as well as individual life stories. While technologies such as drainage, canal building and dam construction, but also the effects of climate change and examples of ecological destruction as results of slow violence demonstrate how nature is altered by humans, the representation of natural disasters, such as tsunamis or flooding, in these texts foregrounds the multi-directional interactions between human characters and their environment. In addition, the novels discussed in this paper explore the affective relations between their human protagonists and the waterscapes in which they live, as well as the aquatic events with which they have to engage. My paper approaches these water novels from the perspective of new materialism in order to emphasise interaction and enmeshment. At the same time, it also proposes Patrick D. Murphy’s concept of anotherness as a tool that can work against the potential lack of differentiation and indiscriminate levelling of unequal relations that accompanies the “new universalism”.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures

UniBE Contributor:

Kluwick, Ursula Maria


800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures
400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages




Ursula Maria Kluwick Kälin

Date Deposited:

19 Nov 2019 11:31

Last Modified:

19 Nov 2019 11:31



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